Becoming a Resource on Buddhism for the Baha’i Community

Judy Russell of Prescott, Arizona, found insight, peace, and new ways to serve the Baha’i community through the Wilmette Institute course Buddhism for Deepening and Dialogue.

Judy RussellI gained so much insight into Buddhism! I learned about the controversies: 1) Buddhist belief in God versus no God; 2) different interpretations of the history of Buddha at the time and the difficulties with knowing the historical Buddha and the traditions versus teachings; 3) many of the later interpretations (schools) of Buddhism, their similarities and differences; and 4) different Buddhist tenets, such as the Eightfold Path. I especially loved going to the Garchen Buddhist Temple in Chino Valley for a White Tara meditation.

Instead of planning a fireside on Buddhism for Baha’is and seekers, I consulted . . .  with the Baha’i community.  We decided that, since the community has two Buddhist seekers (which I didn’t know about), the community itself would like to be deepened on Buddhism and the Baha’i Faith, basic Buddhist tenets, and reincarnation. That way, the individuals will be better able to teach.  A one-to-two hour community deepening is scheduled for either the third or fourth weekend in August. I may also go ahead and schedule a fireside for the Buddhist friend I know to review what I learned and ask him what he believes.

I definitely learned how to read better, study better, and pace myself better. . . . I also feel a sense of belief in Buddha now. My values and beliefs in the Baha’i Faith have been enriched by the Buddhist teachings. I feel they are broader and deeper.

I will be continuing to study Buddhist writings and possibly return to the Temple to hear the Venerable Garchen Rinpoche. There is also a movie August 1 about his life being shown downtown in Prescott, which I plan to attend. I plan to teach the Faith to my American Buddhist friend in a fireside, and I hope to be a community resource on Buddhism for the Baha’is.

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